The Greatest Show On Earth

In 1881 the legendary show promoter P.T. Barnum entered the circus world together with James Bailey to create what he called "The greatest show on earth", and it was indeed! Hundreds of artists, legions of workers and a complete zoo worked in the giant tent of this Three Ring Circus that was moved by train throughout the United States. In 1907, this circus was bought by the Ringling Brothers and gave rise to its current name.

The Greatest Show on Earth with Emmett Kelly and Lou Jacobs

Emmett Kelly Biography

(1898-1979) - Emmett was born in Kansas and worked as a comic drawer before becoming a circus trapeze artist in the 20"s. Since 1931 he acted as a "White face" clown and after great efforts he convinced the owner of the circus to act as "Weary Willie", a character that he had created based on vagabonds of the time of the Great Depression. This way, Emmett Kelly created a new clown style, one that was not limited to buffooneries but that made people laugh and was able to show the tragic side
of human nature as well.

Lou Jacobs Biography

(1903-1992) - Lou was an acrobat and contortionist born in Germany that arrived to the United States in 1923. In 1926 he started working as a clown in the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey circuses where he performed for 60 years and became the official image of the most famous circus around the world. Probably Lou Jacobs was the first to use the typical red plastic nose that is currently one of the essential symbols of clowns. In 1966 he became the first living person to appear in the post
stamps of the United States.

Circus Book